Compare Viread vs. Retrovir

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Viread
(tenofovir)

Retrovir
(zidovudine, azt, or zdv)

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Also treats Hepatitis B Virus. tenofovir can be a good choice to take within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class. It may not be the best choice though for people with kidney problems.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Also prevents mother-to-child sharing of HIV. AZT can be a good second-line choice to take within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class. AZT can have a number of serious side effects, but if you don't have prior blood, kidney, or liver problems, you should consider it.
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Best available price for 30 (300mg) tablets of tenofovir
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Viread (tenofovir)
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of people (All ages) say Viread (tenofovir) is worth it
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say it works well
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say it's a big hassle
Have you used Viread (tenofovir)?
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Reviews for Retrovir (zidovudine, azt, or zdv)
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Same vs. Viread (tenofovir)
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Same vs. Viread (tenofovir)
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Same vs. Viread (tenofovir)
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Side effects
VireadRetrovir

We haven’t found good data for Viread side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Viread »

We haven’t found good data for Retrovir side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Retrovir »
How it works
VireadRetrovir
tenofovir stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.AZT stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.
Type of medication
VireadRetrovir
Available as
VireadRetrovir
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
VireadRetrovir
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
VireadRetrovir
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney damage
  • Prior bone fractures
Detailed Viread (tenofovir) risks & warnings »
  • Advanced HIV
  • Anemia
  • Neutropenia
  • Longtime use of AZT
  • Women
Detailed Retrovir (zidovudine, azt, or zdv) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
VireadRetrovir
No food related info.
  • Take AZT with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
VireadRetrovir
  • The dose of tenofovir depends on how your kidneys work. It is really important to consistently monitor them with your doctor.
  • Don't take other drugs that can hurt your kidneys while taking tenofovir without talking to your doctor. That sadly includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve.
  • tenofovir can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use tenofovir. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • Severe worsening of Hepatitis B has been seen in patients who have stopped taking tenofovir. Liver function should be closely watched in people who have both HIV and HBV.
  • tenofovir is removed from the body by the kidney. Kidney (renal) damage, including cases of renal failure and Fanconi syndrome (injury to the tubes inside of the kidney), has been reported with the use of tenofovir. Your doctor must continually monitor the function of your kidneys while you are taking tenofovir.
  • Poor kidney function will affect how much AZT you can take.
  • AZT can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use AZT. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
Pain
VireadRetrovir
No pain related info.
  • Combining certain medications can increase the risk of muscle pain (myopathy), muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis), and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.
Upsides and benefits
VireadRetrovir
  • Take tenofovir once a day, with or without food.
  • For people who can't swallow the tablet, take the powder instead.
  • tenofovir is used for HIV in kids 2 years and older, and chronic hepatitis B in kids 12 years and older.
  • AZT is provided as capsules, tablets, and syrup.
  • Used in kids and babies.
  • Take AZT with or without food.
  • AZT is included in the combination drugs Trizivir (AZT, Epivir, and Ziagen) and Combivir (AZT and Epivir), both of which are taken twice a day.
Downsides and risks
VireadRetrovir
  • The tenofovir powder can't be mixed in a liquid, so mix into soft food like applesauce and yogurt.
  • The dose of tenofovir depends on how your kidneys work. It is really important to consistently monitor them with your doctor.
  • AZT may cause serious blood, muscle, and liver problems.
  • Poor kidney function will affect how much AZT you can take.
  • Allergies to AZT are rare, but very serious.
  • Need to get regular blood tests.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
VireadRetrovir
  • Don't take other drugs that can hurt your kidneys while taking tenofovir without talking to your doctor. That sadly includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve.
  • People with HIV should be tested for Hepatitis B virus (HBV) before starting tenofovir.
  • Similarly, patients with chronic hepatitis B, should be tested for HIV before starting tenofovir.
  • Decreases in bone mineral density can happen while taking tenofovir.
  • Work with your doctor to monitor your kidney function and bone mineral density regularly.
  • Don't take AZT with stavudine, another HIV drug.
  • Work with your doctor to get regular blood tests. The goal is to make sure the drug is working well and safely.
  • Keep an eye out for any new symptoms or side effects you may start to feel while taking AZT and report them to your doctor.
  • Read the Medication Guide given to you at the pharmacy about AZT since it contains helpful information.
Learn more
More about VireadSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Viread (tenofovir)?
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More about RetrovirSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Retrovir (zidovudine, azt, or zdv)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it